I appreciate the fact that Mr. Kramer wants to move forward and that he has the best interest of our city in mind. His feeling is that we must take the corps plan as it was presented in 2006. To me this is moving backward. Sandy has left us with no questions. Our weak points have been exposed. We now know what will happen in a worst case scenario. The plan from 2006 does not address all our needs. It still leaves us vulnerable. We need more.
We know that we are going to have significant flooding on the bay side. Bay flooding caused us to lose homes, businesses, schools, our hospital, the recreation center, and the sewage treatment plant. We know that properly maintained sand dunes were effective in ocean side flood protection in areas like Lido, Point Lookout, and East Atlantic Beach. We know that solid wall barriers originally built for reasons other than protection were actually effective in ocean side flood protection here in Long Beach. We know that an independent engineering firm, Coastal Planning & Engineering, Inc., has been studying our island since 2006 and has recommended that we incorporate a solid wall and sand dune system to protect the ocean side, and an improved bulkhead and drainage system to protect the bay side.
The national government is going to release a significant amount of money to our area to provide for repair and mitigation. We know what we need. Why can’t we use the money to make this happen? We share this island with the communities of Point Lookout, Lido, East Atlantic Beach, and Atlantic Beach. In 2006, the corps pitted one community against another. Point Lookout could only get what it wanted if Long Beach took something it didn’t want. This can’t happen again.
Mr. Kramer, I understand that you and others are angry. I lost my home too; it’s natural for us to look for someone to blame. Please remember that this is the United States of America. Citizens of this country are free to organize themselves and express concern. This is what happened in 2006. The people involved weren’t just surfers. They were people from all walks of life speaking up for something they believed in. The blame game serves to divide us. Now more than ever we need to be united.